weekend guide to carmel by the sea

Folktale Winery & Vineyards

Have you ever been someplace that feels straight out of a dream? That you feel you could return to over & over again – even doing the EXACT same things and be happy? Carmel is that place for me. I can’t imagine anyone not absolutely loving it here – & wanted it to be my next weekend travel guide — hoping that you’ll all plan a visit in 2020!

Carmel by the Sea is a small beach town on the Monterrey peninsula – it’s slow paced, famous for it’s galleries, dog beach & the Carmel Mission. It’s truly a little peace of heaven – if your into wandering, eating, shopping, WINE – it’s an absolute must. Not to mention the fairy like cottages & beautiful homes throughout the city.

Carmel Beach

Getting there: We typically fly into San Jose – Carmel is about 1.5 hours from San Jose, & it’s the most beautiful drive along the coastal HWY 1. A few stops worth making along the way – Santa Cruz, Capitola & Monterrey. It’s easily accessible from San Francisco too if your wanting to make a longer trip. Check out my travel guide for SF here.

Where to stay: My two favorite affordable lodging options – if your wanting to be away from it all, but less than a 10 minute drive from Ocean Ave – Quail Lodge in Carmel Valley is so perfect! It sits on 850 acres of some of the most beautiful valley & golf course. Be sure to dine at Edgar’s – the herb crusted salmon is my favorite. Second, if your wanting to be right in town – walking distance to the beach, shops and restaurants – the Candlelight Inn is probably one of top five favorite accommodations, ever. Recently remodeled – gorgeous rooms, big bathtubs and fireplaces & my favorite part, each morning they leave a small cooler bag with fresh fruit, muffins & pastries and yogurt in front of your door – without disturbing you. There’s also a great outdoor fireplace and seating in front to wind down with a glass of wine after wandering. Regardless, you can’t go wrong with either choice. If your looking to splurge – we haven’t stayed here yet, but it’s totally on my bucket list – & just outside of Carmel by the Sea in Big Sur. And another bucket lister too – this iconic hotel, co-owned by Doris Day.

Must do’s & must eats: Honestly, my favorite part about Carmel is how low key we typically keep our weekend there. It’s so relaxing! But there are a few things that are worth setting time aside for.

The Carmel Mission, founded in 1797 is such a beautiful piece of history – & worth spending some time exploring. We visited just last month and got such a gorgeous glimpse of the rare fall colors!

Stroll along Carmel Beach, if your like us – preferably with a coffee & pastry in hand from Carmel Valley Coffee – (if your a dog lover, this is heaven! If you aren’t – just a warning, this is an off leash dog friendly beach). Walk, bike or drive – the 17 Mile Drive along Pebble Beach. My favorite stops along the drive – Spanish Bay Beach – a great spot with picnic tables & wooden board walks, Fanshell Beach (pictured below) – get out of your car and spend some time here, some of the most beautiful coastline in the world!, & the Lone Cypress. Make sure to stop at the Pebble Beach Visitor Center too to check out some awesome golf history.

During our weekend last month we visited Folktale Winery & Vineyards for the first time ever – and it absolutely won’t be our last! We’re already planning a visit back next summer you guys, this place. So beautiful. Some of the best local wine & great food. We spent the afternoon taking the vineyard tour (book in advance!), wine tasting and having an early dinner. I can’t say enough how much we both enjoyed this.

Folktale Winery & Vineyards

Drive down through Big Sur – pull over like every FIVE minutes and take in the views. Make sure to stop at Bixby Bridge for a photo op – (hello my fellow Big Little Lies fans!). This entire area & coastline is literal heaven. I could write an entire post on just HERE, hmmm – maybe I should?

A few favorite places to eat. Food – it’s always the most important part of my wanderings. La Bicyclette, Little Napoli – get the eggplant parm, you won’t regret it; and Katy’s Place for breakfast. Carmel is full of little shops and restaurants – we haven’t been disappointed yet!

& saving one of my favorite parts of this town for last, Carmel is full of secret passageways & tunnels, leading to some of the most charming little courtyards and shops. Read here for an in depth guide on where to stop & wander.

Happy wandering readers. I hope this gets you kick started on planning your trip to Carmel by the Sea. I’d LOVE to hear if you make it there! Xoxo.

the best of november

How is it December? I promise it was just summer time and I was anticipating fall. I enjoy this season SO much – & we’ve just had the best month. Without further ado – the best of November.

We hosted our annual Friendsgiving this month – it was a perfect evening. Every single one of our friends were able to attend this year – normally we have one or two that can’t make it, this made me so happy!

I shared my gift guide a couple of weeks ago here , over FIFTY gift ideas you guys, go check them out if you haven’t already .. – & have also been sharing A LOT over on IG stories, here’s a few of my favorite guides so far from the Everygirl. Go check out their site – so many great gifting options!

What I’m loving this month:

Target Bottle Brush Trees – I might have ordered two of each.
Green || Gold || Blush
This knife set from Amazon.

What I read in November:

This book is beautiful & thought provoking. Written as a letter to his mother that she’ll never read, it’s absolutely moving and probably one of my favorites, ever.

We visited our most favorite place ever – Carmel by the Sea for a lovely long weekend. If your into slow and quiet, peaceful little towns nestled along some of the most beautiful coast line ever – go. I really can’t imagine anyone not being in total heaven .. I definitely want to post a weekend travel guide here soon. If your headed that way before I do – make sure to visit Folktale Winery & take the tour if your able to — I recommend the flat bread pizza & house cabernet!

Our living room – all warm & cozy for fall.

Moroccan Pom Pillows || Amaro Pillow Set || Green Lumbar || Couch || Printed Rug || Jute Rug || Coffee Table || Pumpkin || This is Home Book || Wooden Pear

And my favorite quick & easy salad for all the holiday parties coming up – we make this for Thanksgiving & Christmas!

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! XOXO.